Posted on 05/11/2016 | About Cancun, Mexico

A British judge has ordered Thomas Cook to pay compensation to passengers who were stranded in Cancun for two days when their plane was impounded by the Mexican government.

Judge Main awarded Aly Lewis and 41 other passengers £487.80 ($908.10) each for a 43-hour delay. 

The judgment was handed down this week after an appeal hearing in March. 

Judge Main said, "The origin of the event here, a dispute over landing and navigation fees, was an event inherent in the normal exercise of the activities of an air carrier." 

Flight TCX325 from Cancun to Manchester Airport was scheduled to depart at 17:30 on Saturday December 1 in 2012, when Mexican Authority SENEAM impounded the aircraft. 

SENEAM accused the airline of failing to pay a compulsory 'air navigation charge', preventing the aircraft from departing until the alleged outstanding fee was paid. The airline dismissed the claim that there was any debt outstanding. 

When they were told the plane would not be allowed to leave, Thomas Cook representatives said they attempted to pay the fee but the SENEAM would not accept cash or a cheque – and a specific payment process had to be used. Unfortunately that process was not in operation over the weekend, and the airline could not pay until Monday morning. 

Passengers were sent to a hotel for two nights, eventually arriving in Manchester at 2:20am on December 3, 43 hours late. 

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said, "We're extremely sorry our customers experienced such a delay on this flight, which was the result of an unfortunate set of circumstances that we believed to be extraordinary. We accept the judgment of the court and continue to operate thousands of successful flights each year to Mexico." 

Kevin Clarke the lawyer representing the passengers said, "The airline may say that this delay was not its fault, but that is missing the intention of the Regulation; while a delay may not be an airline's fault, the law says it is their responsibility."